(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "The History Of Western Education"

HUMANISTIC EDUCATION                 163

So far as can be judged, the schools seem to have responded
readily to the revived interest in letters. In the nature of the
case, the change required to bring them into line with the
renaissance view of life was much less than in the corres-
ponding institutions of the north. Not only were the teachers
to a considerable extent laymen, with minds more open to new
ideas than the clergy, but the Latin language and literature
had always retained a vitality in their own homeland which
they could never have under any conditions among peoples to
whom they came as an alien culture. It was comparatively
easy, therefore, for the schools to free themselves from the stiff
medieval discipline and to enter into the spirit of a movement
that appealed equally to the national pride and to the new-found
joy in life.

The first man to give expression to the educational ideals of
the renaissance was Pietro Paolo Vergerio (1349-1420), who
taught logic in the university of Padua in the last decade of the
Fourteenth Century. His service to education was twofold. He
published an exposition of Quintilian's Education of an Orator,
and wrote a treatise On the Manners of a Gentleman and on Liberal
Studies. The former called attention to the ripe educational
wisdom of the great Roman teacher, and set his textbook off
on a new career of inspiration and practical helpfulness in an
age even more appreciative of it than his own. Every educator
of the Revival, whether man of theory or man of practice, whether
on Italian or Teutonic soil, steeped himself in the text and in
the spirit of this treatise of Quintilian's.* The latter of Vergerio's
works, which enjoyed a great popularity and influence throughout
the next two centuries, summed up broadly and comprehensively
the aim and methods of humanistic education. It was written
for the guidance of the son of the lord of Padua, and it repeated
many of the precepts which Quintilian had written for youths
of the same class twelve centuries before. There was the same
insistence on the value of an all-round education for the man of
affairs, and the same recognition of the need to adapt the subjects
to be learned to the individual bent and to the age of the pupil.
The chief difference was that resulting from the attempt which
Vergerio made to combine Roman education with the Christian
conception of life. Just as -Sneas Sylvius (Pope Pius II) in a
* Woodward, Education during the Renaissance, p. 9.